Overkill or justice? Costly 5-year-old artifacts case nets no prison time and 3 suicides, but retrieves Native American treasures and raises awareness
"If you look at the two suicides and try to couple them with the concept of jack-booted thugs kicking down doors at 6 in the morning and putting people in handcuffs, it was simply not the case. The fact that the suicides happened when they did really fed that kind of frenzy of the overreaching government."
In March 2010, Gardiner, 52, became the third person associated with the case to take his own life. According to a Unified Police Department report, he was upset over his involvement in the case and believed "he had killed two people."
San Juan County still has not regrouped from the deaths and the arrests, Adams said.
Federal authorities, he said, came into the raid with the notion, " 'We're going to scare the hell out of people.' Is that really the role of government? … That's what they did in (Nazi) Germany."
Residents in southeastern Utah remain suspicious of the FBI and BLM. Said Adams, "I don't think it will ever go away."
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